Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Minutes

Date:
Friday, 7th December, 2012
Time:
4.30 p.m.
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, The Square, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Norma Stephenson (Chairman)

Cllr Chris Abbott, Mr Geoff Baines (Non Political Independent Member), Cllr Peter Cox, Mrs Gwen Duncan (Non Political Independent Member), Cllr George Dunning, Cllr Ray Goddard, Cllr David Harrington (substituting for Cllr Ken Dixon), Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Steve Nelson Cllr Carl Richardson, Cllr Charlie Rooney, Cllr Bernie Taylor
Officers:
David Bond, Mike Batty and Michael Henderson (Stockton on Tees Borough Council)
In Attendance:
Barry Coppinger (Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland), Edward Chicken (Middlesbrough Borough Council), Denise Ogden (Hartlepool Borough Council),
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Ken Dixon and Mayor Stuart Drummond
Item Description Decision
Public
PCP
14/12
APPOINTMENT OF NON POLITICAL INDEPENDENT MEMBERS 2012/16
RESOLVED that Geoffrey Baines and Gwyneth May Duncan be appointed to the Panel as Non Political Independent Members, with immediate effect, and the Home Secretary be notified accordingly.
PCP
15/12
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
PCP
16/12
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 6 AUGUST 2012
 
PCP
17/12
POLICE AND CRIME PLAN
RESOLVED that the update be noted.
PCP
18/12
UPDATE ON PRECEPT
RESOLVED that the update be noted.
PCP
19/12
DECISIONS OF THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER
RESOLVED that the report and discussion be noted.
PCP
20/12
RECIPROCAL ARRANGEMENTS - RESPONSE FROM DURHAM AND DARLINGTON PCP
RESOLVED that the information be noted.
PCP
21/12
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT AT PANEL MEETINGS
RESOLVED that Option 2 be agreed for inclusion in the Panel's Rules of Procedure subject to the addition of the time allocation detailed above.
PCP
22/12
FIRST DRAFT PERFORMANCE MONITORING REPORT
RESOLVED that the draft report be agreed and reports be submitted to each ordinary meeting of the Panel on that basis.
PCP
23/12
PRECEPT TIMETABLE
RESOLVED that the Panel writes to the Home Secretary in the terms described above.
PCP
24/12
CLEVELAND POLICE AND CRIME LOGO
RESOLVED that the logo be adopted as Cleveland Police and Crime Panel's official logo.
PCP
25/12
FORWARD PLAN
RESOLVED that the Forward Plan be noted, subject to the change referred to above.
PCP
26/12
EF=
EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC
RESOLVED that the public be excluded from the meeting room for the following item of business as it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.
Confidential
PCP
27/12
COMPLAINTS
RESOLVED that the complaint be treated as concluded for the reasons detailed above and the Complainant and Commissioner be advised accordingly.
4.30pm/5.30pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
PCP
14/12
The Panel considered a report relating to the appointment of two Non Political Independent co-opted members.

Members were provided with brief details of the agreed process for the appointment of the Non Political Independent Members, which had included the establishment of a sub panel to consider applications, undertake interviews and make recommendations to the Full Panel.

Details of the recommended appointments were provided.
PCP
15/12
There were no declarations of interest.
PCP
16/12
The minutes of the meeting held on 6 August 2012 were confirmed as a correct record and were signed by the Chairman.
PCP
17/12
The Panel received a report from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland ('the Commissioner') relating to the Police and Crime Plan.

The Plan was a statutory requirement and the Commissioner explained that it would be an important mechanism for communicating his intentions to the public, police, partners, this Panel and other stakeholders.

Members noted that a first draft of the Plan would be ready by the end of December and would be built around five core objectives:

- retaining and developing Neighbourhood Policing
- ensuring a better deal for victims and witnesses
- helping to divert people from offending - and a renewed focus upon
rehabilitation/preventing re-offending
- developing better co-ordination, communication and partnership
between agencies to make best use or resources
- working for better industrial and community relations

The Commissioner provided an executive summary that highlighted his objectives and commitments. The summary would be refreshed periodically and published on the Police and Crime Commission's website.

The Plan would be underpinned by a comprehensive strategic assessment of the challenges facing Cleveland, as well as an analysis of the consultation carried out during 2012. The Plan would also reflect the partnership landscape within which policing would be delivered.
PCP
18/12
The Commissioner provided the Panel with a briefing note and update on options relating to the precept for 2013/14 and future years.

He considered that there were currently two realistic options:

- Increase precept by 2%
- Accept the Council Tax precept freeze in 2013 - 14 along with the 1% government support for 2 years.

Members noted the potential financial impact each option would have on the total precept for 2012/13 - 2016/17 and on property bands for 2013/14.

The Commissioner explained that he had not arrived at a final decision on his approach to the precept and this would be the subject of further discussion and consultation. He did indicate, however, that his current feeling was that a 2% increase for 2013/14 offered the best option, particularly given the potential issues that accepting the Council Tax freeze could create for future years.

It was noted that the cost of any referendum, triggered by a proposed police precept, above the 2% ceiling, would be met by the Commissioner.
PCP
19/12
Members considered a report of the Commissioner relating to decisions he had taken since taking office. The report also provided details of meetings the Commissioner had attended and planned to attend.

The Commissioner explained that he would not be appointing a Deputy Commissioner. He also explained that arrangements were being made to interview candidates, for the position of Chief Constable, at the end of January 2013.

During consideration of the decisions taken by the Commissioner, specific reference was made to his proposed appointment of a Chief Executive Officer and members asked a number of questions in this regard. Questions focused on:

- Costs associated with the decision?
- Why the appointment had been undertaken on the basis of a secondment from Middlesbrough Council?
- As a secondment, who was paying the post's salary?

The Commissioner indicated that the additional costs associated with paying the previous Police Authority Chief Executive, to the end of his contract, were in the region of 30,000, though there were some negotiations to undertake. He pointed out that the Chief Executive's role and responsibilities, in his office, would be significantly different to the role of the Chief Executive in the Police Authority. There were a number of issues, such as the production of a Police and Crime Plan and precept setting that were pressing and new partnership working arrangements needed to be established quickly. He felt it had been important to address the Chief Executive's post as early as possible. An important element of the Chief Executive's role, during the coming year, would be to review existing office arrangements, to ensure they were fit for purpose. The Commissioner explained that he was confident that a review of the current office would reveal savings. He indicated that he would report back to the Panel on this matter.

The Commissioner explained that the 1 year secondment would give him the opportunity to identify exactly what skills and abilities a Chief Executive in his office needed to possess and, before the end of the secondment, he would advertise the post with that information in mind. The proposed appointee's salary would be paid by the Commissioner's Office.

The Commissioner confirmed that he would be publishing details of the meetings/events he had attended and would be attending on the PCC web site.
PCP
20/12
The Panel was provided with an update report relating to the previous decision to invite Durham and Darlington Police and Crime Panel (DDPCP) to enter into reciprocal observer arrangements.

Subsequently, DDPCP was contacted and the following response had been received:

• the principle of collaboration was extremely important but our PCP
needed to settle and embed in its role and function before it
engaged with other PCPs;

• Durham and Darlington PCP planned to review its operation by the end
of March 2013 to refine its approach ;

• it would be worth considering an event under the auspice of the
regional scrutiny network that could bring together a number of
PCPs to share practice etc.

It was agreed that, in view of this response, it would not be possible to establish any reciprocal observer arrangements at this point in time. However, this Panel's support officers would monitor the work of neighbouring PCPs, via websites, and through informal discussions with colleague support officers and liaise with the Chairman and Vice Chairman, should any good practice/development opportunities come to light.
PCP
21/12
Members considered a report that provided options with regard to Public questions at meetings of the Panel.

The Panel agreed option 2, as detailed in the report and appendix, subject to a 1 minute time limit being applied in respect of each of the following elements of the process:

- the asking of the question;
- the response to the question;
- any supplementary question;
- the response to any supplementary question
PCP
22/12
Members were provided with a draft monitoring report that covered police performance and a range of performance indicators from other criminal justice agencies.

The draft illustrated the range of performance information which could be made available to the Panel in future. It provided an opportunity to check whether members of the Panel found the format useful and clear and whether there were any parts they would wish to dispense with and/or additional information which they would wish to see.

It was anticipated that the Commissioner would wish to establish a quarterly performance monitoring regime in relation to the Police & Crime Plan, and it was proposed that the Panel should review the same quarterly monitoring reports during 2013/14. The main advantages of such an arrangement were that it was efficient, and that the Commissioner and the Panel would be looking at the same dashboard, and the potential disadvantage was that it could lead members of the Panel towards scrutinising the performance of Cleveland Police, which is not the Panel's responsibility, rather than scrutinising the performance of the Commissioner.


The Commissioner explained that the format and content of the monitoring report was flexible and would be developed to reflect the needs of the Panel over time.

Members requested that the monitoring report be presented to each ordinary meeting of the Panel. It was noted that Panel meetings would be arranged to allow timely reviews following the end of each quarterly period.
PCP
23/12
The Panel considered a report that highlighted a letter from the Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Panel to the Home Secretary that made representations about the timetable for consideration of the Commissioners' proposals on precept for 2014/15 and future years.

The letter has been circulated to all lead authorities for Police & Crime Panels with a request that Panels consider supporting the approach set out by Devon & Cornwall.

Members were provided with a flowchart detailing timescales associated with the Panel's involvement in the precept setting process for 2013/14.

The Panel agreed that it would be helpful to the Commissioner's Office and the Panel, if the timetable for future years were arranged so as to allow more time. It was recognised that the unhelpful timetable for the first year was a direct consequence of the Government's decision on the timing of PCC elections.

Members agreed that the Panel should write to the Home Secretary, raising concerns about the precept timetable for 2013/14 and suggesting that future years' timetables provided more time for the Commissioner to prepare and the Panel to consider proposed precepts.
PCP
24/12
Members were provided with a proposed logo for the Panel.
PCP
25/12
Members were provided with details of the Panel's Forward Plan.

It was explained that the Commissioner's office had recently indicated that interviews for the position of Chief Constable would be taking place at the end of January 2013. It was therefore suggested that the confirmation of any proposed appointment should take place immediately following the Panel's scheduled meeting on 5 February 2013.
PCP
27/12
The Panel considered a report detailing a complaint against the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Panel considered that the complaint related to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland's decision concerning the appointment of a Chief Executive. The Panel did not consider that the complaint constituted a serious complaint or conduct matter that should be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The Panel was advised of its options with regard to the complaint.

Members noted that consideration of the Commissioner's decisions had taken place earlier at the meeting, and that a confirmation hearing would follow which related to the appointment of the Chief Executive. At the conclusion of this the Panel agreed that the complaint could reasonably be regarded as having being dealt with and as having been concluded.

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